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Deals & Dealmakers

Kaufman reaps repositioning rewards at 777 Third

777 Third Avenue
777 Third Avenue

In a deal that marks the culmination of its successful campaign to re-position and lease up the property, the William Kaufman Organization has signed an 18,412 s/f lease renewal and expansion at 777 Third Avenue, bringing the 575,985 s/f tower to 100% occupancy.

SEI Investments Company, a publicly-traded investment management firm that currently leases 7,869 s/f on the 26th floor, is leasing an additional 10,543 s/fat the 38-story building.

The expansion comes on the heels of a surge of leasing activity involving over 100,000 s/f of transactions at the property.

During the last 12 months, Sage Realty Corporation, the leasing and management division of the William Kaufman Organization, and a leasing team from Jones Lang LaSalle, have completed new leases and renewals for ERG Property Advisors, a commercial real estate firm; Retrophin, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company; Starboard Value LP, an investment adviser; Alta Fundamental Advisers LLC, an asset management firm; Sompo Japan Insurance Company of America, one of the largest property and casualty insurers in the world; Morelli Alters Ratners P.C., a law firm; Candlewood Investment Group, LLC, an independent investment bank; Trident Investment Management LLC, an employee-owned investment manager; and Lascaux Resource Capital, an asset management firm.

According to Michael Lenchner, vice president and director of leasing of Sage Realty Corporation, the multi-year repositioning effort was an opportunity for the landlord to diversify its tenant roster and enhance the building’s position in the marketplace following the departure of a large advertising agency tenant in 2010.

Shortly after, cosmetics giant Avon signed for 272,000 s/f. Once the new anchor tenant moved in, a number of full-floor tenants flocked to the building.

“We believed from the beginning that the new 777 Third Avenue would be able to attract a diverse roster of triple A tenants, and we were proven right,” Lenchner said.

As a result of the capital commitment, Lenchner says the upgraded building standards for common corridors and turnkey build-outs as well as the speculative construction of pre-built units “quickly led to the leasing of the balance of the building.”

L. Craig Lemle of Savills Studley represented SEI in the 7-year transaction, while Lenchner represented building’s ownership in-house. Asking rents were $75psf. 777 Third Avenue is co-owned in partnership with The Travelers Companies, Inc. and managed by Sage Realty Corporation.

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